Tuesday, July 28, 2009

happily home

We have returned. Four weeks away seemed like no time at all despite being filled with family fun, explorations, food discoveries, walks, and other adventures. I am glad to be back in Charlottesville, reunited with my lovely husband, who could only join us for part of the trip, and Freja the dog, who seems confused and slightly depressed without her companion.

I am also eager to start work again, my mind and my sketchbook are filled with ideas. I look forward to settling in to my creative routines, exploring new prints, and delving into embroidery, my newfound passion. The etsy shop is up and running and the inleaf site will follow shortly.

I'll leave you with some more Scandinavian goodies.

Small boat harbor and traditional street houses in Roskilde.

Birthday lunch with my mom in Malmö.

Overnight trip with the boys to Copenhagen.

Viking ship museum in Roskilde.

Anemones and wild strawberries in my moms garden.

Friday, July 17, 2009


This week, my mom and I traveled by car to Österlen, the southern most part of Sweden, known for its rolling landscape, small farms, artist studios, and gourmet food. It was nice for the two of us to spend a whole day together, with no set schedule or distractions. First stop was Skåne Tranås where we discovered the gourmet chocolate maker Österlenchoklad and Ann-Louise Månsson's beautiful felted wool creations called tovade ting. Next we continued to kaos, an artisan group in Södra Mellby. Lunch followed at Buhre's Fisk located by the water's edge in Kivik harbor. We stopped at Gröna Butiken in Orelund to stock up on organic veggies and fresh berries, before continuing along the cost to Simrishamn where I was born, many years ago. We finished up with a visit to Apotekarns Trädgård, a garden with an almost tropical climate located in the center of town. A perfect ending to a perfect day!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

sunshine and sorrow

Our Sweden vacation continues. We have returned to Malmö, where my mom and sisters live. The boys enjoy sleep-in mornings and days filled with play, beach visits and no commitments. I relish having time for true conversations, long evening meals, and endless card games with my nephews. We've been to a Swedish premier league soccer game, a youth track meet, many neat museums, restaurants, and stores...

But sadness lingers amidst our joyful activities. Kajsa, one of our dogs has died while we were away. She was sick with a fever when we left, and despite loving care from our veterinarian, house sitter, and friends, she continued to get worse. When her liver stopped working we decided to put her down, a difficult step to take in any circumstance and heart wrenching when you are thousands of miles away. Kajsa was an amazing, intelligent, and loving dog. She was worried and fearful (especially of hot air balloons and thunder) but extraordinarily devoted, loyal, and trusting. And she knew how to smile. I'll miss her.

Friday, July 10, 2009

swedish delights

Great design, art, and functionality are embedded in Swedish society. It is evident whether you visit a public park, a local restaurant, or someones home. While I am visiting I want to introduce a few of my favorite Swedish artists and designers, starting with Signe Persson-Melin a fantastic ceramist, and designer. Now in her eighties, she is still active in her studio in my family's hometown Malmö. Most recently she has a designed a series of beautiful garden pots and birdbaths in collaboration with Byarums Bruk. Throughout her long career she has created an array of alluring objects, from glass storage containers and rustic tea pots, to silverware and altar decorations. Signe Persson-Melin's work is on display at Kulturen in Lund until August 16, if you are in the neighborhood...

G.A.D is a swedish design company founded and based on the island Gotland, east of the Swedish mainland. G.A.D is renowned for their high quality furniture and use of native woods and natural materials. I love the simplicity, clean lines, and muted colors. Too bad most of their goods are too large for my suitcases...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


We have arrived at Nösund, my family's summer house on the west coast of Sweden. This is where I spent my childhood summers; swimming, sailing, fishing, berry picking, hiking, and rock climbing. It is my favorite place on earth. The cottage is small, and rustic, perched on a cliff only yards from the water. Now my entire family is gathered here; my mother and sisters, my sons, their uncle, all their cousins, and my husband. I feel privileged to be here and to share this inspirational place with the people I love.

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